Special Issue "Assessment of the (Eco)Toxicity of Nanomaterials"

A special issue of Toxics (ISSN 2305-6304). This special issue belongs to the section "Risk Assessment and Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Susana I. L. Gomes
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology & CESAM, University of Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Interests: nanotoxicology; soil ecotoxicology; toxicogenomics; biomarkers; mechanisms of response

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues

Nanomaterials (NMs) are present in our every day life, and the risks associated to their release into the environment, with the concomitant consequences to human and environmental health, are a real concern.

The common approach to assess NMs toxicity has been based on the standard guidelines, which do not necessarily cover nano-specific issues. The need for the adaptation of the current guidelines to deal with nano specificities or even the development of new ones becomes evident, and is ongoing (MALTA initiative). Further, the discussion of the application of New Approach Methodologies (NAMs) in regulatory science is currently in progress (by ECHA) due to NAMs recognized potential, e.g., to inform on the mechanisms of toxicity, which will contribute, among others, to support read-across as well as provide useful and usable information for screening and prioritisation.

This Special Issue aims to contribute to improving and supporting the current efforts on recognizing the best practices/test procedures for NMs risk assessment. Papers may include but are not limited to toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic studies; assessment of molecular or epigenetic mechanisms of toxicity; in vitro studies; phenotypic or behavioral outcomes; and/or predictive or computational toxicology approaches, supported by proper materials characterization.

Authors are invited and welcome to submit original research papers, reviews, and short communications.   

Dr. Susana Gomes
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Nanomaterials/Nanoparticles/Nanoplastics
  • Risk assessment
  • Nanotoxicology
  • New Approach Methodologies
  • Systems Biology
  • Environment
  • Hazard and exposure assessment

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Communication
Reactive Oxygen Species Detection Using Fluorescence in Enchytraeus crypticus—Method Implementation through Ag NM300K Case Study
Toxics 2021, 9(10), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9100232 - 24 Sep 2021
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Abstract
An imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants in a living organism results in oxidative stress. Measures of such imbalance can be used as a biomarker of stress in ecotoxicology. In this study, we implemented the ROS detection method based on the [...] Read more.
An imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and antioxidants in a living organism results in oxidative stress. Measures of such imbalance can be used as a biomarker of stress in ecotoxicology. In this study, we implemented the ROS detection method based on the oxidant-sensing probe dichloro-dihydro-fluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA), detected by fluorescence microscopy, in Enchytraeus crypticus adults and cocoons, i.e., also covering the embryo stage. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a well-known ROS inducer, was used both to optimize the method and as positive control. Implementation was successful, and the method was used to assess ROS formation in E. crypticus cocoons and adults when exposed to the reference silver nanomaterial Ag NM300K, at two effect concentrations (EC20 and EC50) for both hatching and reproduction over 3 and 7 days. The measured ROS levels varied with time, concentration, and developmental stage, with higher levels detected in adults compared with cocoons. In cocoons, ROS levels were higher at the EC20 than the EC50, which could be explained by non-monotonic concentration-response curve for hatching and reproduction, as previously observed. The increase in ROS levels at day 3 preceded the oxidative damage, as reported to occur later (day 7) in adults. The DCFH-DA method was successfully implemented here and can be further used as a new tool to detect ROS formation in E. crypticus, especially after short-term exposure to chemicals, including nanomaterials. We recommend the use of 3 and 7 days in the exposure design for this assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of the (Eco)Toxicity of Nanomaterials)
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Article
A Co-Culture Model of the Human Respiratory Tract to Discriminate the Toxicological Profile of Cationic Nanoparticles According to Their Surface Charge Density
Toxics 2021, 9(9), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9090210 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 548
Abstract
This study aimed at discriminating with sensitivity the toxicological effects of carbon dots (CDs) with various zeta potential (ζ) and charge density (Qek) in different cellular models of the human respiratory tract. One anionic and three cationic CDs were synthetized as [...] Read more.
This study aimed at discriminating with sensitivity the toxicological effects of carbon dots (CDs) with various zeta potential (ζ) and charge density (Qek) in different cellular models of the human respiratory tract. One anionic and three cationic CDs were synthetized as follows: CD-COOH (ζ = −43.3 mV); CD-PEI600 (Qek = 4.70 µmol/mg; ζ = +31.8 mV); CD-PEHA (Qek = 3.30 µmol/mg; ζ = +29.2 mV) and CD-DMEDA (Qek = 0.01 µmol/mg; ζ = +11.1 mV). Epithelial cells (A549) and macrophages (THP-1) were seeded alone or as co-cultures with different A549:THP-1 ratios. The obtained models were characterized, and multiple biological responses evoked by CDs were assessed in the mono-cultures and the best co-culture model. With 14% macrophages, the 2:1 ratio co-culture best mimicked the in vivo conditions and responded to lipopolysaccharides. The anionic CD did not induce any effect in the mono-cultures nor in the co-culture. Among the cationic CDs, the one with the highest charge density (CD-PEI600) induced the most pronounced responses whatever the culture model. The cationic CDs of low charge density (CD-PEHA and CD-DMEDA) evoked similar responses in the mono-cultures, whereas in the co-culture, the three cationic CDs ranked according to their charge density (CD-PEI600 > CD-PEHA > CD-DMEDA), when taking into account their inflammatory effect. Thus, the co-culture system developed in this study appears to be a sensitive model for finely discriminating the toxicological profile of cationic nanoparticles differing by the density of their surface charges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of the (Eco)Toxicity of Nanomaterials)
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Article
Cellular Uptake and Toxicological Effects of Differently Sized Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles in Intestinal Cells
Toxics 2021, 9(5), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9050096 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 765
Abstract
Due to their beneficial properties, the use of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NP) is constantly increasing, especially in consumer-related areas, such as food packaging and food additives, which is leading to an increased oral uptake of ZnO NP. Consequently, the aim of our [...] Read more.
Due to their beneficial properties, the use of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO NP) is constantly increasing, especially in consumer-related areas, such as food packaging and food additives, which is leading to an increased oral uptake of ZnO NP. Consequently, the aim of our study was to investigate the cellular uptake of two differently sized ZnO NP (<50 nm and <100 nm; 12–1229 µmol/L) using two human intestinal cell lines (Caco-2 and LT97) and to examine the possible resulting toxic effects. ZnO NP (<50 nm and <100 nm) were internalized by both cell lines and led to intracellular changes. Both ZnO NP caused time- and dose-dependent cytotoxic effects, especially at concentrations of 614 µmol/L and 1229 µmol/L, which was associated with an increased rate of apoptotic and dead cells. ZnO NP < 100 nm altered the cell cycle of LT97 cells but not that of Caco-2 cells. ZnO NP < 50 nm led to the formation of micronuclei in LT97 cells. The Ames test revealed no mutagenicity for both ZnO NP. Our results indicate the potential toxicity of ZnO NP after oral exposure, which should be considered before application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of the (Eco)Toxicity of Nanomaterials)
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Review

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Review
State of the Art on Toxicological Mechanisms of Metal and Metal Oxide Nanoparticles and Strategies to Reduce Toxicological Risks
Toxics 2021, 9(8), 195; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics9080195 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 666
Abstract
Metal nanoparticles have been extensively investigated for different types of pharmaceutical applications. However, their use has raised some concerns about their toxicity involving the increase of reactive oxygen species causing cellular apoptosis. Therefore, in this review we summarize the most relevant toxicity mechanisms [...] Read more.
Metal nanoparticles have been extensively investigated for different types of pharmaceutical applications. However, their use has raised some concerns about their toxicity involving the increase of reactive oxygen species causing cellular apoptosis. Therefore, in this review we summarize the most relevant toxicity mechanisms of gold, silver, copper and copper oxide nanoparticles as well as production methods of metal nanoparticles. Parameters involved in their toxicity such as size, surface charge and concentration are also highlighted. Moreover, a critical revision of the literature about the strategies used to reduce the toxicity of this type of nanoparticles is carried out throughout the review. Additionally, surface modifications using different coating strategies, nanoparticles targeting and morphology modifications are deeply explained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessment of the (Eco)Toxicity of Nanomaterials)
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